County profile: Clinton County

Posted on May 24 2024 in County

By Nicole Thomas

Thunder Thursday
Photo by Brande Seibert, Courtesy of Clinton County Chamber of Commerce 

Spanning 400 square miles in central Indiana, Clinton County features historical buildings, recreational parks, and rural charm with more than 200,000 acres of farmland. Its county seat in Frankfort is home to the only high school in the country whose mascot is the Hot Dogs, which won ESPN’s best Indiana nickname in 2009.


From June to October, the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce hosts Thunder Thursday, a cruise-in for classic cars. Thunder Thursday honors the memory of Jason Wilhite, who was the director of membership and events at the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce for 10 years. Car owners across Indiana, Michigan, and Kentucky drive to Frankfort’s main street on the first and third Thursday of each month to show off their rides while enjoying local shops and restaurants.

Charles Aidman
Photo courtesy of Universal City Studios 


Born in Frankfort in 1925, Charles Aidman was an actor whose stage, film, and television career continued for four decades. The most notable of his 15 feature film roles include Captain Wallace Pratt in the 1962 war film “War Hunt” and Gerald Kotcher in the 1971 comedy-drama “Kotch.” He also guest-starred on the TV shows “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Andy Griffith Show” throughout his more than 150 television roles.

In addition to his acting career, he adapted the collection of free-verse poems, “Spoon River Anthology” by Edgar Lee Masters, into a theater production. It is widely performed 61 years after its inception. His last significant role before his death in 1993 was narrating more than 30 episodes of the sci-fi series “The Twilight Zone.”

Frankfort Hot Dog Festival
Photo courtesy of Frankfort Hot Dog Festival 


Held the last weekend of July, Frankfort’s annual Hot Dog Festival brings live music, games, and carnival food to the city’s downtown. During the festival’s 5K Bun Run and Walk, visitors can race through the city’s paved streets alongside Frankie the Hot Dog, the city’s mascot. Visitors’ pet dachshunds also race head-to-head during the festival’s Doxie Derby. Pet owners can register their furry friends to try their paws at long jumps, high jumps, and speed retrieves with various DockDogs events throughout the weekend. In past years, the Cincinnati Circus and bluegrass group Seth Mulder & Midnight Run have performed as the two-day festival’s main attractions.

Nicole Thomas is a freelance writer from Indianapolis.



NAMED FOR: DeWitt Clinton, the sixth governor of New York State and architect of the Erie Canal


COUNTY SEAT: Frankfort